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Genus: Araucaria

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Gymnospermae > Coniferophyta > Araucariaceae

A. araucana A. bidwillii A. heterophylla

A genus of coniferous tree with 19 living species of which 13 are endemic to the island of New Caledonia. The remaining species are native to Australia, New Guinea, Chile, Argentina and southern Brazil. A number of species have been cultivated as garden trees round the world of which seven have been grown in southern Africa.

Species cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Araucaria angustifolia (Parana pine)

Native to Brazil.


Araucaria araucana (Monkey puzzle, Pehuén)

Native to central Chile and west-central Argentina in South America where it grows on the lower slopes of the Andes. Seeds are edible and are eaten by the local Mapuche people who refer to the tree as Pehuén. The spaniards referred to these people as the Araucanians (no longer acceptable terminology), from which the scientific names are derived. Monkey-puzzles are grown in urban areas of southern Africa.

Araucaria bidwillii (Bunya-bunya)

Native to Queensland, Australia. It is a sacred tree of the Australian Aboriginal people. Seeds are eaten raw or cooked. It is grown in urban areas of southern Africa but not as commonly as Araucaria heterophylla (Norfold Island pine) and Araucaria araucana (Monkey puzzle).

Araucaria columnaris (New Caledonian pine)

Native to New Caledonia.


Araucaria cunninghamii (Hoop pine)

Native to Australia and New Guinea.


Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk Island pine)

Native to Norfolk Island, which is between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. It is grown as a garden and street-side tree in southern African and is the most common Araucaria species in Cape Town.

Araucaria rulei

Native to New Caledonia.




  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.


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